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Natural disasters or terrorist attacks may cause severe loss or property damages. The 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have proved that people and communities should prepare for the unknown disasters. Thus, experts have prepared guidelines and recommendations that can protect communities from such conditions. For example, communities should develop a communication plan that includes people whom they can contact in emergency situations. Also, people should know the local evacuation routes. Moreover, they should learn to turn off the electricity, water and gas in emergency conditions. In addition, communities should assemble emergency kits that contain food, first aid kits, cash and other important supplies. Furthermore, civic associations or neighborhood watch groups should be created to protect the people from unknown disasters (National Crime Prevention Council, n.d.).
Incident Command System
Incident Command System (ICS) helps communities to send emergency commands to the authorities in case of disaster. ICS involves up-to-date equipment, communication systems, personnel and facilities. It is designed to provide a standard response to a variety of incidents. ICS professionals belong to the multiple agencies, such as healthcare institutions, fire departments and law enforcement departments. Hence, they can deal with disasters in an effective way (National Crime Prevention Council, n.d.).
Mock Exercise and Training
Communities can stage mock exercise and training for disasters in different ways. Different professionals can help people to learn about disaster management tips. They can create a mock disster stage and educate community members on precautions. For example, people can learn to provide first aid to the individuals. Also, they may learn about emergency evacuations and fire extinguishing techniques from professionals. In addition, such mock exercise and training enables community crisis management teams to understand their roles in emergency conditions. Law enforcement professionals may teach the community members to fight or protect themselves from terrorism in the course of mock disaster training (National Crime Prevention Council, n.d.).
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Communication and Warning Systems
Communities need to have communication and warning systems. Such systems provide early warnings of different disasters, such as hurricane, earthquake or storm. The system is composed of four basic elements that provide emergency information. It consists of technical warning and monitoring services, public preparedness and awareness acts, knowledge of an unknown risk and issuing meaningful warnings to the people who are at risk. These services help communities to understand the probabilities of disasters in advance. Also, it helps people to utilize disaster management services properly. Thus, communication and warning system is highly valuable for any community (National Crime Prevention Council, n.d.).
In emergency conditions, people may expose themselves to hazardous materials. In such a situation, they should take particular steps to protect themselves. For example, people should not touch hazardous materials such as chemicals, radioactive materials or some drugs with bare hands. Moreover, they should use masks or gloves to protect themselves from chemicals. Also, people should try to store hazardous materials in clean and dark containers. Patients must avoid contact with human or animal blood or tissues since they can carry harmful germs. In addition, they should wear emergency masks for protection from hazardous gas (National Crime Prevention Council, n.d.).
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assists communities in disasters and complex conditions. Moreover, the agency deals with search and rescue operations and provides food and shelter services. In addition, it supplies electrical power and water to the areas affected by disaster. Also, FEMA provides long-term recovery services and major disaster services to the communities (Federal Emergency Management Agency, n.d.).
Triage refers to the process of determining the priorities of emergency patients. Its approaches are based on scientific models. Thus, triage helps to find out the reasons of complex health conditions in a short time. It provides instant care in mass-casualty incidents (MCI), such as accidents, terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Hence, communities should use triage in complex conditions (Federal Emergency Management Agency, n.d.).
In conclusion, communities should prepare for natural disasters and terrorist attacks by following a variety of recommendations. Moreover, they can use Incident Command System to get warnings of disasters. In addition, they should perform mock trainings to educate community members on ways of dealing with disasters. Furthermore, communities should turn to FEMA and use triage in emergency situations such as disasters and terrorist attacks.
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